In this chapter, Caranthir, Curufin, and the Ambarussa haven't been born yet and Tyelkormo is the youngest.
Maitimo was sure that someone up there, in Taniquetil, was laughing at him as he stumbled through the marshes, bare as the day he was born and cheeks flaming miserably, matching the shade of his violent red hair that was now covered in dirt, mud, leaves, and some sort of insect that he had no care for and simply did not bother to remove. If someone would take pity upon him and strike him dead already, then he would feel humiliation mitigated to at least some degree.
Why did Tyelkormo, the young hunter and annoying pest he was, wish to play a hunting game? Moreover, why did he want to play the one game that caused one to sacrifice his dignity once he became the prey? Maitimo knew Tyelkormo would never have Mother or Father do such a thing!
He cursed silently to himself as he nearly tripped over a protruding tree root that he did not see. Then, he emerged from the forest.
As soon as he did so, light blinded him, and an arrow flew past him, cutting off a perfect two strands from his hair. Maitimo waited for his eyes to readjust as he backed away from the tree that had caught the arrow, and as he started to prepare for a long sprint, he took the arrow from its position and held it up defensively as one would with a sword.
"Tyelkormo," Maitimo growled. "Where are my clothes?"
A young light-haired boy appeared from behind the taller dark-haired boy, an impish grin on his face. "You look better without them!"
Macalaurë, the dark-haired Elf, laughed, placing his hands to his mouth as he allowed the bow to drop from his hands. Maitimo's eyes narrowed as he pinned Macalaurë with his intense grey gaze. However, his brother was still laughing at him! And to think that Maitimo thought Macalaurë would never be one to take up a bow unto his own kin! Tyelkormo, the youngest child, perhaps, but not Macalaurë!
"I'm so sorry, Maitimo," said Macalaurë, breathless from his chuckling. "You just suddenly emerged from the trees, and I only saw a nude Elf and didn't think before I shot the arrow! And Tyelkormo said that there was someone chasing after him without clothes!"
Maitimo looked distinctly annoyed. "Our little brother took my clothing from me. And I would like to know where it is! Lest a straying-eyed maiden or our parents see me, I should very much like to be covered by decency before I am to attend tonight's banquet, which happens to be tonight!"
The corner of Macalaurë's mouth twitched as he fought back a smile, replying very honestly and innocently, "You should not have obliged when Tyelkormo asked you to be the prey to his predator. After all, you know what he did to one of his playmates at the town square! Five young ladies were aghast when they saw the elfling streaking across the market, with another elfling chasing after him with a makeshift spear." He glanced at Tyelkormo. "Which happened to be my flute."
"I pity your flute, but it is more of myself that I wish to cover, thank you very much," replied Maitimo, his temper coming to the end. "Macalaurë, I would like to have my clothes returned to me!"
Macalaurë sighed. "Tyelkormo left your clothes back in the marshes. I believe that they - " he turned to Tyelkormo, and Tyelkormo nodded; " - have now sunken beneath the mud."
Groaning, Maitimo turned back around with a huff, throwing the arrow back to Macalaurë who caught it deftly without even blinking. "Why must you both torture me so? Did I do something to earn your ill favor! Eru, may I maintain patience! Where did you leave them in the marshes? In the watery section or the one filled with puddles deep with mud?"
Tyelkormo cackled. "I threw them into the middle of the small pond."
"Small?" echoed Maitimo. "Last time I ran across it, - which was three minutes ago, mind you - it was more of a giant lake! How can it be a small pond?"
"I jumped across it easily!" said Tyelkormo. "I was about to lose my balance as I was jumping from branch to branch, and my wrist accidently flicked forward, causing me to throw the clothing into the pond..."
"Mother is going to kill me."
"Stop being so dramatic, Maitimo," said Macalaurë, immensely amused, that sadist... Just like Mother when she was in a bad mood! "Mother will simply be annoyed by the fact that you've lost your clothing, and you've turned up nude. But I'm sure that all of us will be punished to some measure, so it's all right. After all, what better than to gain admiration as you walk through the market square without any article of clothing upon your skin..."
Maitimo glowered at Macalaurë, but he carried on.
"I know for one that there is the beautiful Anairë whom no one dares approach for fear of her rejection. She is one of the finest ladies in Tirion. Did you not say once that you had half a mind to proclaim public affection to her? I'm sure she will take it quite well—and be quite impressed—if you show her your full figure."
Macalaurë had a tendency to look at the good things in life as if the bad things were simply nuisances that could be ignored. Maitimo however was not amused by his little sarcastic speech. Even though he had the power of words and optimism that was nearly annoying as hell, it was often marked with sarcasm and mockery because it was simply his nature to sound sardonic. Maitimo would have liked to say that Macalaurë learned it from their father, but all circumstancial evidence pointed to himself.
"I do not remember saying anything of the sort!" replied Maitimo, a frown on his face. "There is no time to waste, Macalaurë. I need clothes; therefore you should retrieve clothing for me. You know where Mother stores the laundry, and maybe she even still has some left on the clothesline."
"All right, all right. Tyelkormo, watch over our...nude brother."
Tyelkormo simply gave a giggle and sat back onto his heels.
Yes, Fingolfin's wife is, well, had to be single before she married Fingolfin, right?